The Gulf Coast Winter Classic Returns

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The wake of destruction created by Hurricane Katrina forced the annual Gulf Coast Winter Classic to relocate last year to Pensacola, Fla. This year, the 5-week winter horse show series has returned to Gulfport, Miss., and the citizens couldn’t be happier.

“Everyone has been so warm and welcoming, asking what they can do for us or just visiting with the horses,” says exhibitor Sean Steffee.

The Winter Classic kicked off Feb. 14 and will run Wednesday through Sunday, until March 18. The competition includes hunter/jumper classes and grand prix jumping events.

Organizers expect the show to bring in a much needed $36 million for the local community, which appears to be an added benefit.

“It’s more than just a horse show to this community,” says Mike McMillian, director of the Harrison County Equestrian Center. “It’s a sense of pride for this area.”

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